Stabbing suspect still at large after chase, crash in Grover Beach

jlavelle@thetribunenews.comNovember 7, 2013 

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies arrested an Arroyo Grande woman on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon but are still searching for her accomplice who disappeared into a Grover Beach neighborhood after a high-speed chase Wednesday night.

Cherie Rodriguez, 29, is being held in Santa Barbara County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

Authorities are still looking for Osvaldo Hernandez, 35, of Santa Maria. Hernandez is a documented gang member with a history of violence, Hoover said. He is on parole for assault with a deadly weapon, violation of a criminal street gang act and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities caution that anyone who sees him should not approach him, but call 911 instead.

The pair are suspects in a stabbing that occurred just after midnight outside the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, Hoover said. The victim, a Nipomo man, was stabbed several times inside a vehicle on the Chumash Reservation and his cell phone and wallet were stolen. Left on the roadway by his assailants, the victim went to the casino for help and was taken by paramedics to a local hospital with serious injuries, Hoover said.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives found the suspects driving a stolen vehicle near Santa Maria and tried to initiate a traffic stop at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Hoover said. The suspects took off, leading authorities on a high-speed chase on and off Highway 101 that crossed into San Luis Obispo County.

The high-speed pursuit was called off when the suspects exited onto Fourth Street in Grover Beach, Hoover said. The suspects fled on foot after their vehicle hit a parked car at Fourth Street and Park View Avenue. Rodriquez was quickly apprehended and arrested, but law enforcement personnel were unable to find Hernandez despite hours of searching the area Wednesday night with the aid of a CHP helicopter and K-9 units.

San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies and Grover Beach police officers assisted Santa Barbara County deputies in the search.

Anyone with information on Hernandez’s whereabouts or crimes he may be associated with is asked to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Detectives Bureau in Santa Maria at 934-6170. An anonymous tip can be left at 681-4171.

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